may be seated"...sounds simple right? Surprisingly
there's a great deal of etiquette and tradition for
wedding ceremony seating that you and your ushers should
be aware of!
In a Christian ceremony
the bride’s friends and family usually
sit on the left side of the church and the groom’s
sit on the right (when looking
from the back to front). The reverse is true for
Reform and Conservative Jewish
weddings. If one side has many more guests
than the other, you may want to dispense with
custom and seat everyone together
to achieve a more balanced look.
When a couple arrives,
the usher should take the woman's arm and escort
her to her seat; her escort will follow. The oldest
woman should be seated first, if several guests
The first three or four rows of pews or
chairs should be reserved for family and very
one else should be seated there. The people whom you want to sit in the reserved
seating should be notified by pew cards or word of mouth. In
some cases these rows are sectioned off by ribbons, meaning they are reserved.
Note: Be certain that your ushers are aware
of all special seating arrangements!
mother and father sit in the first row with your siblings
in the second. If you only have one or two unmarried siblings or limited
space, they can be seated next to your parents. Grandparents sit in the third
close friends and relatives in the fourth
and so on.
In case of divorce,
the bride/groom's natural mother traditionally has
the privilege of sitting in the first row. If your divorced
parents have remained amicable, then your father may
sit directly behind your mother in the
second row or with her in the first. Otherwise
your father may be seated
a few rows farther back. However, if you
were raised by your
wish to give her the honor, she and your
the first row,
while your mother sits further back.
Guests should be seated
by ushers as they arrive, from front to back. The
the bride and groom should
just before the ceremony begins. Late arriving
guests are not escorted to their seats by ushers.
take seats near the back, preferably via a side aisle.